With Ultra Music Festival and Coachella 2012 already behind us and June just a few weeks away, it’s easy to see that festival season will be fully underway before we know it. Perhaps it truly begins this weekend with Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) New York while other major festivals like EDC Las Vegas, Starscape (Baltimore), Camp Bisco (upstate New York), Electric Forest (Michigan), Bonnaroo (Tennessee), Identity (a city near you), and plenty more gain steam behind it. Throughout the last several months a “little” festival in Chicago has been quietly growing in what will undoubtedly be a huge weekend for the city. No, I’m not talking about Lollapalooza or North Coast Music Festival, I’m talking about Spring Awakening Music Festival happening for the first time ever on Saturday June 16 and Sunday June 17 (with plenty of after parties spanning that weekend).

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Click through to hear more about it, my Top 10 list, some selected tracks, and the after party schedule!

What separates Spring Awakening from its Chicago cousins? A couple things: firstly, it will be inside Soldiers Field (picture) where the Chicago Bears play their football games, marking the first time in history a festival will be held inside the grounds. Second, the entire bill is composed strictly of artists in the electronic dance music world, making it “Chicago’s First All Dance Festival”. I’m talking headlining names like Skrillex, Afrojack, and Benny Benassi as well as veterans in the game like Claude VonStroke, Moby, and Green Velvet. And of course there’s everyone in between – some I listen to all the time (Wolfgang Gartner), some I’ve heard of/know a couple songs(Tommie Sunshine), and some who are new to me (Lance Herbstrong??) – that will make this an awesome two-day party.

Although the name is a bit deceiving because Spring Awakening takes place after Summer has begun, it’s a great way for the city of Chicago to celebrate the warm days that lay ahead. Personally speaking I have never been to Chicago but I also have never heard a bad thing about it; I am absolutely looking forward to my first visit. And fear not: there is no shortage of after parties that weekend.

Check out an official press release that came out May 15th announcing some pretty big news:
“React Presents and the Congress Theater are thrilled to make Chicago history by announcing SPRING AWAKENINGMUSIC FESTIVAL is expanding by going inside of the legendary Soldier Field stadium! This marks the first time an all dance music event takes place inside and outside of the stadium. Due to overwhelming demand, the first all dance music festival to ever hit the birthplace of house music places da main stage inside of the stadium, with three stages located on the south side of the stadium on Soldier Field’s Stadium Green. We invite all music fans to come be a part of this culmination of Chicago’s long storied musical past.”

The Top 10 Things I’m Excited For Most:
1.) Seeing Claude Vonstroke live for the first time since Ultra 2011. I don’t know what it is about this guy but his sets are so funky and underground and they will make you DANCE
2.) Moby. Talk about underrated and pleasant surprises. This dude is a legend and he absolutely murdered it on the main stage at Electric Zoo 2011. He’s been into “end of the world” Electro-House lately so I’m excited to see what he brings
3.) Flux Pavilion. Probably my favorite or one of my favorite Dubstep producers and I’ve yet to see him live. Love his productions and his sets so I’m sure he’ll kill it.
4.) Wolfgang Gartner. Thanks to my fellow MMIBTY brothers I was introduced to this dude when I was still an EDM n00b. Now he’s among my favorite producers and his DJ sets are pretty flawless. Wolfgang’s songs are played in DJ sets, but to really get as much as you want make sure to see him kill it.
5.) Diplo. If you’ve read anything I’ve written in the past few months you know how big of a fan I am. His podcasts, his productions, his live sets are all unique and insane parties. He brings the Moombahton, he brings the hip-hop, hell he brings the Electro-House. Straight up killa.
6.) Ferry Corsten. If I ever thought I’d write his name on something like this I would have doubted myself. The more I give Trance a chance (haha), however, the more I’m realizing he fits the model of what I like. I listened to his Bal en Blanc set and it was a killer one that was mostly Progressive House with some Trance mixed in. Let’s see what he brings.
7.) Green Velvet. Honestly curiosity more than anything. His song “Flash” was remixed by Nicky Romero and was made hugely popular, but I want to know more about this dude’s music and what his live sets are like. I can only guess they’re insanely funky.
8.) Arty. It ain’t a party unless it’s Arty. 21? 22? who knows how old he is but this Russian prodigy is killin’ it these days and I still haven’t seen him live yet. I love his work and want him to blow my mind.
9.) The after parties. Diplo & Laidback Luke at the House of Blues? Yup. Claude Vonstroke at Spybar? Sure. A-Trak, Dillon Francis & Kill the Noise at the Congress Theater? Check please.
10.) Discovering the city of Chicago. It’s been on my bucket list for a couple years now and I’m anxiously awaiting the opportunity to explore.

Here are Some Songs By Some People Listed Above:
Fries – Yo Vogue (Claude Vonstroke Remix)
Martin Solveig – The Night Out (A-Trak Remix)
Eric Clapton – Cocaine (Lance Herbstrong Re-Cut)
Flux Pavilion – Daydreamer (ft. Example) (Radio Edit)
Hardwell – Spaceman

Official Afterparties:
Friday, June 15th at the MID – Official SAMF PreParty
• Surprise Special Guest, Willy Joy, Zebo, Ghosthouse

Saturday, June 16th
• SKRILLEX at the Mid
• A-TRAK, DILLON FRANCIS, & KILL THE NOISE at Congress Theater
• FERRY CORSTEN, MARIO FLOREK, PAUL UNIVERSE at Vision
• BENNY BENASSI, MIDNIGHT CONSPIRACY, NOBODY BEATS THE
DRUM at House of Blues
• CLAUDE VONSTROKE at Spybar
• JOACHIM GARRAUD & DESIGNER DRUGS at Sound-Bar
• MORGAN PAGE at Lumen
• GABRIEL & DRESDEN Boat Party

Sunday, June 17th
• DIPLO & LAIDBACK LUKE at House of Blues

**ALSO** Laidback Luke’s infamous Super You&Me party invades the Spring Awakening on Sunday, June 17th with Diplo, Datsik, Destructo, Felix Cartal, Oliver Twizt, Team
Bayside High, and of course, Laidback Luke!

TICKETS TO SPRING AWAKENING (only $119 for two-day pass!!!)
Official Spring Awakening Facebook Page
Official Spring Awakening Website

*UPDATE 5/24/12 – lets look at set times and maps!*